New guidelines dictate that scripts of films dealing with “significant topics” including national security, diplomacy, ethnic groups, religion and the military must be submitted to government officials in advance for approval.
Films that “propagate cult and superstition” or “promote pornography, gambling, drug abuse, violence, terror, or … teach criminal methods” are banned outright.
As the government has legally defined which topics are off limits, filmmakers will be more constrained from exploring themes deemed controversial by the government.
“Now there are laws to abide by for regulators when punishing filmmakers who are defined as violators,” LGBT filmmaker and activist Fan Popo told the Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Fan directed the coming-out documentary film “Mama Rainbow,” which has been blocked by most video-streaming sites in China.
Although the guidelines do not mention LGBT specifically, filmmakers and activists are concerned that the laws are vague enough to allow censors free reign on what is acceptable.